University of London Birkbeck

University of London LogoUniversity of London Birkbeck

Birkbeck, University of London (formally, Birkbeck College; informally, Birkbeck), is a public research university located in Bloomsbury, London, England, and a constituent college of the federal University of London.

Established in 1823 as the London Mechanics’ Institute by its founder, Sir George Birkbeck, and its supporters, Jeremy Bentham, JC Hobhouse and Henry Brougham, Birkbeck has been one of the few institutions to specialise in evening higher education.

Birkbeck’s main building is based in the Bloomsbury zone of Camden, in Central London, alongside a number of institutions in the same borough. In partnership with University of East London, Birkbeck has an additional large campus in Stratford, next to the Theatre Royal.

Birkbeck offers over 200 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes that can be studied either part-time or full-time, though nearly all lectures are given in the evening. Birkbeck’s academic activities are organised into five constituent faculties which are subdivided into nineteen departments. It also offers many continuing education courses leading to certificates and diplomas, foundation degrees, and short courses. Research at Birkbeck in 11 subject areas is rated as ‘internationally excellent’ and ‘world leading’ while over 90 percent of Birkbeck academics are research-active. Birkbeck, being part of the University of London, shares the University’s academic standards and awards University of London degrees. In common with the other University of London colleges, Birkbeck has also secured its own independent degree awarding powers, which were confirmed by the Privy Council in July 2012. The quality of degrees awarded by Birkbeck was confirmed by the UK Quality Assurance Agency following institutional audits in 2005 and 2010.

University of London Birkbeck

Birkbeck has been acknowledged as a ‘global elite‘ university and it has been shortlisted by the Times Higher Education Awards as University of the Year. Birkbeck is a member of academic organisations such as the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the European University Association. The university was awarded The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for excellence in higher education research in 2006.

Birkbeck has produced many notable alumni in the fields of science, law, politics, economics, literature, media, art and drama. Alumni include four Nobel laureates, numerous political leaders, members of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and a British Prime Minister among its former students and faculty.